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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

The Effects of Substituting Tofu for Cream Cheese in Chocolate Cheesecake

by Kristy Wilkins

Kristy Wilkins

There is strong epidemiological evidence that diet plays a role in cancer and many other diseases (1).  Soy is one of the foods that has been studied the most to identify the benefits of its consumption.  Soy protein has been found to effectively decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer (2,3).  The use of soy products could be increased in the typical diet if acceptable soy based foods are developed. 

Based on this information, I developed a chocolate tofu cheesecake.  Statistical data was compiled comparing the acceptability of a control cheesecake, made with cream cheese, with 2 cheesecakes made with tofu.  One of the tofu cheesecakes substituted all of the cream cheese with tofu and the other substituted 50% of the cream cheese for tofu. Subjective and objective testing was done to identify the differences and the acceptability of the different chocolate cheesecakes. 

The subjective tests included a triangle test to identify if any difference could be found between the products, and flavor, texture and preference tasting tests.  The objective tests are based on the TA.XT2 to analyze structure and texture.  There were no significant differences found between the control and the cheesecake made with cream cheese and tofu regarding bitterness intensity or preference.  There were no significant differences found in the force required for penetration and removal using the flat probe comparing the 50/50 cheesecake with the tofu cheesecake. 

The results show that the cheesecake made with 50% tofu and 50% cream cheese was an acceptable replacement for a regular chocolate cheesecake.  The half-tofu cheesecake contains 30% fewer calories than the original and 50% less cholesterol.  These results support the purpose of the study, which is to develop healthier, acceptable alternatives using soy-based products to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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